The coley stock in the Faroes has full reproductive capacity and in a healthy state. However, fishing is controlled by effort rather than quota and this has led to a fishing mortality which is unsustainable and inconsistent with the precautionary approach. Until fishing mortality is reduced this fishery is unsustainable in the long term. Avoid eating immature saithe below about 50 cms and during its breeding time January to March. To help reduce impact of fishing on fish stocks where fishing effort is too high, the marine environment, and species, choose line-caught fish where available. When buying longline-caught coley ask for fish caught using 'seabird-friendly' methods, see Fishing Methods for details. The longline, demersal otter trawl and jig fisheries were certified as sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council in June 2013.
Coley or saithe belongs to the same family as cod and haddock. Coley usually enters coastal waters in spring and returns to deeper water in winter. They spawn from January to March at about 200m depth along the northern shelf edge and the western edge of the Norwegian deeps. Saithe can grow up to 130cm. It is a long-lived species and can reach ages of more than 25 years. They become sexually mature when 5-10 years old and 60-70cm long.
Although the spawning stock biomass (SSB) has decreased substantially since 2005 it now has full reproductive capacity i.e. SSB is above BPA, estimated at 55,000 t. However the stock is being fished unsustainably, with F above F MSY. An effort management system, implemented in 1996, aims at harvesting, on average, 33% of the stock in numbers. This level of fishing is considered by ICES to be inconsistent with the Precautionary Approach. Therefore at present there is no explicit management plan for this stock. ICES considers current catches and fishing effort on this stock unlikely to be sustainable. For 2014 ICES advises a reduction of 46% (44% in 2013) in the present fishing mortality. The Faroese Plateau and Bank fishery (demersal otter trawl,longline, jig) was certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in June 2013. ICES Advice 2013, Book 4
ICES Advice 2013, Book 4
Most coley from the Faroes is caught using bentho-pelagic pair trawls. BRDs are mandatory in the pair trawl fishery, which reduces bycatch and discards. Coley is also taken in mixed demersal fisheries which include cod and haddock. Fishing is prohibited in areas where small fish exceed 30% of the catch. Trawlers are generally not allowed to fish within 12nm of the coast. Large pair trawlers account for about 75% of the coley catch. The minimum landing size for coley in Faroese waters is 45cm, however, the approximate size at which 50% of females first spawn is around 50cm, so it seems likely that many fish are taken before they have had a chance to reproduce.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
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